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Hatfield (Destroyer No. 231)

(DD-231: dp. 1,190; l. 314'5" ; b. 31'8" ; dr. 9'3" ; s. 35 k.; cpl. 101; a. 4 5", 1 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)

John Hatfield was appointed Midshipman 18 June 1812 upon the outbreak of war. He volunteered for duty under Commodore Isaac Chauncey on Lake Ontario where he served in Lady of the Lake. Midshipman Hatfield was killed during the attack on York, Canada, 27 April 1813.

Hatfleld (Destroyer No. 231) was launched 17 March 1919 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. J. Edmond Haugh; and commissioned 16 April 1920, Lt. N. Vytlacil in command.

After training cruises during the summer, Hatfleld sailed from Brooklyn 6 September 1920 for Key West, Fla., and continued her exercises along the Atlantic coast for the remainder of 1920. From 4 January 1921 to 24 April she operated in the Caribbean. Hatfteld returned to Hampton Roads in time for a review of the fleet by President Harding 28 April. She continued maneuvers until 7 November, when she was assigned to the 14th squadron of the Atlantic Fleet.

Daring early 1922, Hatfleld operated from Charleston, and on 2 October departed for the Mediterranean to join the U.S. detachment in Turkish waters where she remained on patrol duty until 31 July 1923, visiting many ports including Smyrna, Jaffa, Bierut, Rhodes, and Varna.

Upon return to New York 11 August 1923 she was assigned to the U.S. Scouting Fleet. For the next 7 years Hatfleld maneuvered and drilled along the East Coast, Cuba, Central America, and the Gulf of Mexico. On 15 January 1928 her squadron accompanied President Coo-lidge to Cuba and Haiti for the Pan-American Conference. In November 1930 she sailed for Philadelphia where she decommissioned 13 January 1931.

On 1 April 1932 she was placed in rotating reserve commission and departed 29 June for San Diego, her new home port. She operated out of San Diego until 27 April 1936 when she departed for a cruise that took her to Spain, France, Italy, and Algiers. She sailed for America 9 November 1937 and arrived Charleston in mid-December. Hatfteld decommissioned 28 April 1938 after 4 months of operations along the East Coast.

She once again recommissioned 25 September 1939 and was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol until August 1940. Hatfleld departed 2 August for the West Coast and was assigned to the defense force of the 13th Naval District. She operated in this area until 11 December 1941 when she sailed for patrol duty in Alaskan waters. In the uncertain early months of the Pacific war, Hatfleld convoyed merchant ships to Alaskan ports, helping to carry the supplies necessary to establish bases in the North. She continued this vital duty in the bleak and dangerous northern waters until 13 March 1944, when she returned to Seattle.

Hatfleld performed antisubmarine duties off Seattle until August and entered Puget Sound Navy Yard in September for conversion to a target-towing vessel. Re-designated AG-84, 1 October 1944, she took up her new duties 25 October at Seattle. For the remainder of her commissioned service, Hatfleld operated out of Port Angeles Wash., and San Diego, towing targets for aircraft bombing practice. In this way she helped to contribute to the victories which carrier air power won in the Pacific. She also spent a short time as an underway training ship off San Diego before arriving Bremerton, Wash., 12 November 1946. Hatfleld decommissioned 13 December 1946, ending 26 years of service, and was sold for scrap to National Metal & Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Calif.

Published: Wed Feb 24 12:54:35 EST 2016